In a new video interview with Mobile World Live, Walmart’s Gibu Thomas – head of mobile strategy at the world’s largest retailer – has given further insight into how mobile technology is boosting revenue at the company.
“Over the holidays almost 40 percent of brand new customers to Walmart.com came through mobile, so it’s a new vehicle for customer acquisition for us,” said Thomas. “10 percent of our online sales through our apps happen when the customer is in store and using Store Mode,” he added, claiming that there is a “significant” opportunity for mobile to transform the in-store shopping experience. “Customers love this idea of seamless access, anytime, anywhere, that is not channel-centric but customer-centric.”
And Thomas claims the mobile device is enabling Walmart to have a much closer relationship with customers. By way of example, he cites success at UK subsidiary Asda: “In less than a year 20 per cent of our online home grocery delivery business is actually happening through mobile… And mobile customers are twice as likely to spend much more than online customers.”
Thomas’ interview – available to view here – follows his keynote appearance at the recent CTIA event in Las Vegas. At the show, Thomas outlined how more than 50 percent of Walmart customers own a smartphone (a figure that rises to almost 75 percent for its customers under 35) and that a third of traffic to Walmart.com comes from mobile devices. He also claimed that customers who use the Walmart app make an average of two extra trips to stores per month and spend 40 per cent more each month compared with non-app users.
Elsewhere in the video interview, Thomas reflects on the challenges the mobile payments industry faces and gives his thoughts on the potential of Google Glass to transform the shopping experience.